Greenland’s ice melting rate is estimated to likely outpace every century in the last 12,000 years if the weather keeps being modified, new research has revealed.
According to the new paper, the rate of ice loss in Greenland is being sped up by the emission of greenhouse gases. In the new study published in Nature, researchers drew a comparison between the ice melting process and simulations covering the last 12,000 years.
The scientists now argue the research’s results emphasize the situation and how it can worsen before this century ends.
Dr. Jason Briner from the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences and study author said: “Basically, we’ve altered our planet so much that the rates of ice sheet melt this century are on pace to be greater than anything we’ve seen under natural variability of the ice sheet over the past 12,000 years. We’ll blow that out of the water if we don’t make severe reductions to greenhouse gas emissions.”
An Energy Diet
The scientist says those behind the greenhouse emissions must stop now; in particular, countries such as the U.S., which leads the world in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, have to go on an ‘energy diet.’
Reducing greenhouse emissions will somehow slow the rate of ice loss in the polar areas but also prevent sea level rises, the paper says.
Dr. Briner detailed: “If the world goes on a massive energy diet, our model predicts that the Greenland Ice Sheet’s rate of mass loss this century will be only slightly higher than anything experienced in the past 12,000 years. But, more worrisome, is that under a high-emissions RCP8.5 scenario – the one the Greenland Ice Sheet is now following – the rate of mass loss could be about four times the highest values experienced under natural climate variability over the past 12,000 years.”
In the new research, scientists used a high-tech ice sheet model to simulate a section of the Greenland ice sheet. The simulation considered a 12,000-year span between the Holocene epoch and 2100. The model’s precision was then compared to historical datasets, such as ice sheet measurements and satellite scans to reach the conclusion.